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 Dolomites trip - September 2009

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a-nelson

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PostSubject: Dolomites trip - September 2009   Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:58 pm

Hi all
Recently returned from a week of cycling in the Dolomites, based in Arabba. Had a fantastic time and just about every kind of weather you could think of (sun, rain, snow).

I've written up the trip here...

http://www.bikeit.eclipse.co.uk/dolomites2009/index.htm

and there are some good pic's in the Gallery section.
Day 4 with the fresh snow was absolutely magical.
Managed to add a couple more passes to my meagre total too ;-)
I take it there's no bar to doing it on a tandem? :-)

Cheeers... Allan.


Last edited by a-nelson on Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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daniel gobert
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PostSubject: Re: Dolomites trip - September 2009   Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:34 am

Marvelous pictures showing so well the typical views of the stones in the Dolomites. Many souvenirs for me in this splendid region.
Congratulations for this trip, those excellent pictures and for the tandem.

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eyeless

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PostSubject: Re: Dolomites trip - September 2009   Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:26 am

Very nice photos -- esp. on day 4! Noting you got the bicycles with you despite weighing over 20 kg -- it seems like there are new rules in effect from after the Summer, making things even more difficult for cyclists.

KLM & Air France recently announced that "be happy -- now you don't have to pay extra for taking sporting goods with you up to 20 kg ..." (or similar). What this means in reality is that now you will be charged, when previously you would not be charged anything!!! This of course depends on the person you speaks to and what airport you are leaving from, as always ... so you will still never now which company will have the best total price for you (unless you book with Ryanair or EasyJet and be totally paranoid about following every of the 30 steps or so). I was trying to get home via Münich from the Ötztaler (they held a long discussion with the superiors when leaving Sweden, by decided it was okay with my bike weighing a little extra. Not so in Germany -- here I was first led to a special check-in area for bulky luggage and had my case weighed, then I was led back to the check-in desk where I was told to pay 80 € extra for a one way ticket home. I said that I could not possibly pay that much (as I have never paid anything remotely as much before on even transatlantic flights). I had to take out everything I could and luckily had a friend with a lighter case with him, so he could take my front wheel. I asked at the information desk if I could take my equipment for putting the bike together with me as hand baggage and she though it was okay (one thing looking like a hammer, etc.). It was still one kilo too much when we went back for weighing again and the man who supervised and scanned bulky items -- they now have such a procedure everywhere with scanning before leaving the bag (I think you soon have to leave your head to be shipped on a separate flight for security reasons ...) -- he was really thinking this all made no sense, but was not able to do anything about it. The girl finally accepted my baggage as my friends did not weigh as much or how she reasoned ... . Then I was nearly loosing my wrench (Syntace tool for getting the exact Nm on the screws) which costs 80 € in the security check as it was absolutely not allowed to be taken on the flight, but by some begging, smiling and referring to bad advice from the information girl, he finally let me go. When checking in with Ryanair in Sweden -- I had to unpack everything in my bicycle bag that took my an hour to pack down, since they could not scan such big cases -- and that is required by the Nazis in Brussels these days -- so be warned!

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a-nelson

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PostSubject: Re: Dolomites trip - September 2009   Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:12 pm

Glad you enjoyed the photo's - we enjoyed taking them!

Me and the other guy on the tandem had been in the area around 7 years ago when we travelled from Treviso to Salzburg, but for the others it was new territory. So, we were glad to be back and they were glad to be there for the first time! A fantastic area and after Bormio last year, it had a lot to live up to.

I take your point about weight limits etc. We flew with Jet2 and they have a MAXIMUM limit of 25kgs (I was just praying our bathroom scales were accurate ;-) Luckily they were and our 23kg was allowed without any extra. What I don't like is the uncertainty. In the end, we had no problem and would have paid the excess anyway (begrudgingly), but what happens if they just say 'NO'? Holiday ruined. Having said that - we had met all their 'rules'.
They also have a 'box size' limit of 6' x 3'. Our box for the tandem came in at about 1.5" short of 6' ! I think the main problem though is the height, as anything over 3' won't fit through the scanner.
Funny to think that about 4 years ago, when we flew with RyanAir to Pescara, we simply wheeled the tandem up to the desk. They were a bit non-plussed, but I think they quite liked the idea that they could wheel it around rather than carrying it. Having said that it didn't return from Bari with us. It went to Stuttgart rather than Stansted (well they both begin with ST) and didn't reappear for about 5 days.
I have a feeling flying with bicycles/tandems is going to get harder over the coming years :-(
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